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Candelaria illuminates with annual Candle Festival

By Nimfa Estrellado Candelaria Mayor George Ogie Suayan, led the Trascalion procession during the Candle Festival , a symbolic tradition tha...

By Nimfa Estrellado

Candelaria illuminates with annual Candle Festival
Candelaria Mayor George Ogie Suayan, led the Trascalion procession during the Candle Festival , a symbolic tradition that honors the town's patron saint, on February 1, 2024, Candelaria, Quezon. (Photo from LGU Candelaria Quezon)

CANDELARIA, Quezon - The Candelaria Candle Festival is more than just a celebration; as the second largest industrial center in Quezon province, Candelaria boasts a rich tapestry of faith, culture, and community spirit, which shines brightly during the annual Candle Festival.

This year's festival not only showcased various activities and events that bring the community together but also highlights the deep-rooted religious traditions and cultural heritage of Candelaria, to immerse themselves in the town's vibrant festivities while strengthening their faith and appreciation for their hometown.

In his speech Candelaria Mayor George Ogie Suayan, also the overall festival's chairperson, expressed his heartfelt gratitude, expressing his faith in the festival's power to unite the community and foster a sense of shared identity among the townspeople.

He believes the Candle Festival offers a unique opportunity to not only deepen residents' faith but also strengthen their connection to their hometown, ultimately contributing to a more vibrant and cohesive community. He stressed that the festival goes beyond grand parades; it's about the spiritual significance behind each activity, reminding everyone of the town's rich history and cultural identity.

The festival kicked off with a Thanksgiving Mass at the San Pedro Bautista Parish Church on January 30th, followed by Traslacion, a grand procession of beautifully decorated candles. Each barangay created a booth in Kandelawan Village, showcasing the town's religious heritage and paying tribute to its patron saint.

The festivities continued with a Float Parade featuring elaborately designed floats depicting various religious themes and stories. Social services played a significant role, with organizations and individuals providing assistance to those in need. Additionally, the Marian Devotion: "Nuestra SeƱora de Candelaria," often known as the Candlemas Virgin, and Street Dancing competition added another layer of excitement.

Miss International 2018 Ahtisa Manalo, representing Candelaria in the Miss Universe pageant, graced the event, attracting more spectators and participants while promoting unity and cultural richness.

The Gabi ng Kulturang Candelaria, featuring cultural performances and awards, saw the community coming together to celebrate their heritage through music, dance, and theatrical presentations. This event served as a platform for local talents to shine and for visitors to experience the cultural vibrancy of Candelaria.

The "Indak Pugay," featuring traditional dances and performances, was a captivating display of respect for the town's history and heritage. The colorful costumes and synchronized movements of the dancers left audiences in awe of Candelaria's cultural richness.

Every year, Candelaria comes alive with the three-day Candle Festival, held from January 31st to February 2nd. This joyful celebration honors the town's patron saint and immerses visitors in a rich tapestry of cultural experiences, from dazzling candle-float parades to energetic street dance competitions.

The Candle Festival culminates on February 5th, coinciding with the town fiesta honoring San Pedro Bautista. This tradition, initiated in 2005, features a vibrant procession with energetic street dancing and a majestic parade of floats representing each barangay.

Beyond the celebrations, the festival commemorates three significant events in Candelaria's history: the rebuilding of the Cagsawa Church, the church's foundation as a Franciscan mission, and the powerful eruption of Mayon Volcano.

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